Anime Introduction Guide

During my last visit to KC one of the many conversations that sprouted amongst people there was about anime. I love the fact that I have friends from so many backgrounds and with awesome hobbies. I was an anime freak at some point, and even thought I still follow one religiously (I watch it about an hour after it is released in Japan sometimes) I don’t participate in the community as much as I used to. I was at one time the Anime Society of Kansas City webmaster… but I was a horrible webmaster after I moved to Chicago so my friend Tim took the job over.

During the conversation my BFF asked what he should watch… and well, that is like asking a librarian what is her favorite book. But I promised to take on the task of putting together a little introduction to anime for those that don’t even know where to start. So this will be half introduction to anime, half pissing off anime fans because not only are they out there, they will think I am so wrong for recommending X or Y… you will see.

Before we get into recommendations lets talk a little about anime. Animation in Japan is a little different than in the rest of the world. Anime and Manga(comics) are consumed beyond the youth and into adulthood. While most kids stop reading comics at one point or another in their lives, Japanese animation continue well beyond that. That brings us to something you need to stay away from which is Hentai. A first time anime watcher can be discouraged from watching further anime because they encounter a movie that is geared towards adults with their own fetish. So basically people might expect skinemax level of entertainment and they end up with a very specific animated snuff film. It is like asking a person getting back into reading for pleasure to read Dante’s Inferno. When you are starting out on anime, don’t try to explore the adult world of animation first. I think you should learn a little more about the medium before you are grossed out by some monster with many many tentacles.

Now that we got out of the way, since most anime is geared towards an adult audience, it does not mean that all anime is XXX either. There are animated things for children, a lot of them will have adult themes. Furthermore there are animation geared towards boys or girls. That is probably one of the biggest differences we see, because even though a lot of comic fans continue into adolescence, there is really not much of a market for girls here in the U.S.

I could post a lot more about this subject, but I just wanted to give a little background as to what I was going to present. I am also going to cheat quite a bit and leave out anything that you would have to consume subbed. Not too long ago it was very challenging to get some series dubbed, and to purist it is almost sacrilege to present anime to someone in a dubbed form. Eventually if you fall in love with some anime I do recommend it watching it with the original voice acting, but to start out I think only looking at dubbed is fine. *Disclaimer* most of the ones I will recommend are my personal favorites. If you have better options, just leave a comment, don’t discredit my choices, just give yours :P

I am also picking films or series that are easy to find on streaming services or rental.

ghost-in-the-shell-5
Ghost in the Shell – Action – Sci-Fi

This film can be consumed in one afternoon. While I already loved anime before watching this, this one really cemented anime in my brain as entertainment beyond kid stuff. It showed me that animated films could have not just depth, but also deal with adult themes. A fun fact is that The Matrix owes a lot of its style and visual feel to the film.

kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin – Samurai

This is a series that will captivate you from beginning to end. The cool part about this anime is that even though it is turn of the century and very serious at times, it also gets goofy from time to time. There is a movie series associated with it called Samurai X which is a little drier than the anime, but still excellent. Its turn of the century Japan and the adventures of a Samurai that does not want to kill anymore. Along with it is a love story and tons of interesting characters. I find it to be a great introduction to anime because while not completely formulaic you can start to see the themes that are often used for a series.

Full+Metal+Alchemist[1]
Full Metal Alchemist – Fantasy

I know that “brotherhood is out” however I love the original. The story of two brothers is told through their adventures as they deal with an ever changing world. Lots of mystery and fantasy mixed with loyalty and love for family. A great series that is not as long as Kenshin, but just as enjoyable.

Last but not least is, addict the special woman in your life to anime.

fruits2
Fruits Basket – Romance

While the series is a very girly series, it still has its moments of action. The story is good around a girl in distress and the Chinese zodiac curse. Lovable characters, easy to watch. I don’t like to talk about it much because it is so much more fun to discover things as you watch it.

First Annual KCBvsT

Welcome to the first annual Kansas City Bloggers vs Twitters competition.

We had initially thought Laser Tag would be the best event to keep the geeks from having to take oxygen, but after The D stepped in and scared the twitters with his military background and my fear that he will go into “combat mode” and just Chuck Norris us all in the battle field, we have switched this year’s event to be Whirly Ball.

Honestly I looked into the local Laser tag centers and it seems that they are all way too run down. I even thought about the offer from @wrytir to have it be dodgeball, but I don’t think 140 characters would be enough for the twitters to cry about balls flying at high speed to their faces.

The Place is going to be Power Play in Shawnee Mission
The Date is TBD
The Time is TBD. < - No excuses, be on time because we only have the court for an hour!

All the participants need to contact me via e-mail at logtar(at)gmail-dot-com for some more detail$

I have placed the wafflers (Shane and the D) mainly because of Shane's re-branding, that just makes him an automatic twitter.

There is still time to sign up! so join your team and let the smack talk begin!

The teams for
#KCBvsT stand as follows

Bloggers Twitters
Logtar @wrytir
Sponge @duckman1221
Betizuka @JohninKC
A Librarian @JeffIsAGeek
Faith @arogersphotos
Average Jane @kcklo63
Chimpotle @hoopstar311
Meesha @Vivid13
T-Rave @whitneymathews
The D @ShaneAdams

Kansas City Idol



A while ago Sponge dared Chimpo and me to Karaoke, we both kind of let it go for a while but when we attended the red balloon tweet up she did not forget her previous request. We were glad that she did not sign us up for a song that had the word beaver on it from what I remember but an actual semi cool song that we proceeded to kill… no not the song, the crowd. Don’t care what anyone said, the whole place was having fun… laughing with us or at us they ended up cheering.

American Idol started again and my wife was watching it as I made it home so I got to enjoy some of the bad. I still think that Simon’s facial reactions are priceless. As far as how they portrayed Kansas City, I hope that the country does not judge this city by the people that audition to this show. To quote Joey about on our video, very, very frightening.

Kansas City World Famous?

At least today. I tune into my morning news source, the BBC World Service, and I hear not just Kansas City being mentioned, but even Funkhouser’s grave digger’s voice. Take a listen to the piece centered around the Mayor’s plan to make the city more bicycle friendly. The whole time I was wondering if one of the people along for the ride was a blogger…

Bodies Revealed Boycott

The first time I saw one of the Bodies Revealed they looked amazing. I first thought of how 3D printers were just making awesome things today. Pretty much anything that can be made in a 3D CAD software can later be reproduced in plastic. My friend Travis actually works for a company that sells and installs this awesome technology. However, I was wrong, the Bodies Revealed are actually real human bodies.

When I started hearing that the exhibit was coming to Kansas City, I was not very happy. I do not believe that science needs to be displayed in a freak show manner, specially since now our technology permits the creation of life like materials that are being used every single day to train doctors. Gone could be the days of gross anatomy where you could only learn by dissecting cadavers.

Someone I know had seen the display before and proceeded to argue the point that it was interesting. He ignored completely my argument that computer 3D models were just as accurate and that displaying bodies like art was somewhat obscene for me. He even thought my wife would see it more from the scientific side of things being a biologist and all. I was not sure so this week I asked her.

She completely agreed with me that it was just creepy to begin with and disrespectful. She then told me how some catholic universities have mass at the beginning of a semester for the people that donated their bodies to science. I have even myself consider donating my body for science and if I do part this earth and my organs can save someone’s life I would be glad to help. I also want to donate bone marrow in the future and have donated donated so many times before that I even got a t-shirt.

I however cannot condone the display of human bodies as a spectacle. I do not see any scientific or artistic merit on this morbid display. I am not as satisfied as Union Station CEO Andi Udris with the company that potentially used unwilling condemned prisoners for some other exhibits. Even thought the company produced documentation, it is not enough for me.

So I call on everyone that reads this blog to just skip this exhibit all together. There are plenty of other exhibitions that can bring more to our city than potentially unwilling human beings displayed as art. Even the willing people that donated their body for science probably did not know they were about to be displayed as if they were part of some sick freak side show. Shame on the Kansas City Star for titling their article on the subject “Willing donors gave bodies to Union Station exhibit, says official.” If you want to believe what a corporation making millions of dead bodies over 20/20, be my guest. However I think that when our local paper posts headlines as full of opinion as Tony Kansas City, who is obviously satirical, we should read between the lines and not believe the headlines. Alonzo Washington was the first local activist to speak up about this, so I am 100% with him. Lets boycott this even.

Go to top